Gary Russell Jr.

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Gary Russell Jr.
Gary Russell, Jr.jpg
Russell Jr. (center) in 2010
Height5 ft 4 12 in (164 cm)[1]
Reach64 in (163 cm)[1]
Born (1988-06-05) June 5, 1988 (age 31)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Boxing record
Total fights31
Wins by KO18

Gary Russell Jr. (born June 5, 1988) is an American professional boxer who has held the WBC featherweight title since 2015. As of April 2019, he is ranked as the world's third best active featherweight by The Ring magazine and ESPN, and fourth by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and BoxRec.

As an amateur, Russell won a bantamweight bronze medal at the 2005 World Championships.[2] In 2011, he was named Prospect of the Year by The Ring,[3] Sports Illustrated,[4] and ESPN.[5]

Amateur career and Olympics[edit]

Russell was born in Washington D.C. At age 16, he won both the U.S. Championships and the Golden Gloves in 2005. He became one of only two boxers to win both the U.S. Championships and National Golden Gloves before his 17th birthday. In October 2005, the small southpaw boxer-puncher had a record of 163-10.

In November 2005, at the world championships in Mianyang, Russell beat Bulgarian Detelin Stefanov Dalakliev, 25-21, in the first round; dec. Canadian Tyson Cave, 22-9, in the second round; dec. Jordanian Al Gharaghir Ibrahim, 34-13 before losing to German Rustamhodza Rahimov, 28-17 thus winning the bronze medal at age 17 (joining Rau'shee Warren) and was named 2005 USA BOXING Athlete of the year.

Russell repeated his national title win in 2006, at the US championships 2007 injuring his hands in the process.

At the Olympic Trials 2007, Russell sensationally lost to Roberto Marroquin in his first fight (17:18), his first defeat to a countryman in eight years, but beat him twice later and bested national champion Rios to qualify. Russell became only the fourth boxer in U.S. team history to lose in the opening round and rebound to win his weight class, the others were Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones, Jr. and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

At the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Chicago, Russell beat Ali Hallab to qualify for the Olympics but was beaten soundly by Russia's eventual winner Sergey Vodopyanov 16-6 and didn't medal.

Russell's quest for a medal ended prematurely as he missed the Olympic weigh-in hours after losing consciousness in his Olympic Village dorm room.[6]

Professional career[edit]

Russell stopped Antonio Reyes at 0:21 of the third round of his pro debut, as he began his ascension to the top of the division.

Russell Jr made his HBO debut on Saturday night against Leonilo Miranda, the co-feature to the main event of Andre Berto vs. Jan Zaveck from the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.[2]

Russell had a stellar 2011, defeating Feider Viloria, Adolfo Landeros, Antonio Meza, and Leonilo Miranda. On July 23 Russell faced Eric Estrada on the undercard for the Amir Khan vs. Zab Judah fight at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Russell put on a brilliant performance winning an easy unanimous decision.[7]

On November 26, 2011, Russell was originally scheduled to face Dat Ngyuen, who was forced to withdraw after suffering a knee injury the week before during training camp. Instead, Russell defeated Mexico's Heriberto Ruiz on November 26, 2011 at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio with a stunning knockout at 2:12 in the first round.

Russell would get his first professional title shot in 2014, when he faced Ukrainian prospect Vasyl Lomachenko for the vacant WBO featherweight title. Lomachenko, fighting just his third pro fight after a record-breaking amateur career, beat Russell by majority decision (116-112, 116-112, 114-114). Russell would claim his first belt the next year, beating holder Jhonny Gonzalez by TKO to take the WBC featherweight title. Russell dominated the latter fight, putting the Mexican down once in the third round and twice in the fourth to draw the stoppage.

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
31 fights 30 wins 1 loss
By knockout 18 0
By decision 12 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
31 Win 30–1 Spain Kiko Martínez TKO 5 (12), 2:52 May 18, 2019 United States Barclays Center, New York City, New York, U.S. Retained WBC featherweight title
30 Win 29–1 United States Joseph Diaz UD 12 May 19, 2018 United States MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S. Retained WBC featherweight title
29 Win 28–1 Colombia Óscar Escandón TKO 7 (12), 0:59 May 20, 2017 United States MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S. Retained WBC featherweight title
28 Win 27–1 Republic of Ireland Patrick Hyland KO 2 (12), 1:33 Apr 16, 2016 United States Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, U.S. Retained WBC featherweight title
27 Win 26–1 Mexico Jhonny González TKO 4 (12), 0:37 Mar 28, 2015 United States Pearl Concert Theater, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won WBC featherweight title
26 Win 25–1 United States Christopher Martin Peña UD 10 Dec 20, 2014 United States Little Creek Casino Resort, Shelton, Washington, U.S.
25 Loss 24–1 Ukraine Vasyl Lomachenko MD 12 Jun 21, 2014 United States StubHub Center, Carson, California, U.S. For vacant WBO featherweight title
24 Win 24–0 Mexico Miguel Tamayo KO 4 (8), 1:04 Jan 30, 2014 United States Barclays Center, New York City, New York, U.S.
23 Win 23–0 United States Juan Ruiz UD 10 Aug 9, 2013 United States Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S.
22 Win 22–0 Russia Vyacheslav Gusev UD 10 Mar 2, 2013 United States The Joint, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
21 Win 21–0 Mexico Roberto Castaneda KO 3 (10), 1:25 Nov 9, 2012 United States Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S.
20 Win 20–0 Mexico Christopher Pérez TKO 3 (10), 1:41 Jun 30, 2012 United States Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California, U.S.
19 Win 19–0 Mexico Heriberto Ruiz KO 1 (10), 2:12 Nov 26, 2011 United States U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
18 Win 18–0 Mexico Leonilo Miranda UD 8 Sep 3, 2011 United States Beau Rivage, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
17 Win 17–0 United States Eric Estrada UD 8 Jul 23, 2011 United States Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
16 Win 16–0 Mexico Antonio Meza KO 4 (8), 2:42 Jun 17, 2011 United States State Farm Arena, Hidalgo, Texas, U.S.
15 Win 15–0 Mexico Adolfo Landeros UD 6 Apr 15, 2011 United States Longshoremen's Hall, San Francisco, California, U.S.
14 Win 14–0 Colombia Feider Viloria TD 7 (8), 0:50 Jan 28, 2011 United States Four Points by Sheraton, San Diego, California, U.S. Unanimous TD after Viloria was cut from an accidental head clash
13 Win 13–0 United States Guadalupe de Leon UD 6 Oct 28, 2010 United States Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
12 Win 12–0 United States Willie Villanueva KO 1 (6), 2:56 Sep 25, 2010 United States Fitzgeralds Casino and Hotel, Tunica Resorts, Mississippi, U.S.
11 Win 11–0 Colombia Mauricio Pastrana TKO 1 (6), 1:46 Jul 22, 2010 United States Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 Mexico Rodrigo Aranda KO 2 (6), 0:34 Jun 24, 2010 United States Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 Puerto Rico Carlos Diaz KO 1 (6), 1:32 Apr 16, 2010 United States The New Daisy Theatre, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 United States Jairo Delgado KO 1 (6), 2:38 Feb 19, 2010 United States Wolstein Center, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 United States David Orosco Cano TKO 1 (4), 2:58 Jan 30, 2010 United States Fitzgeralds Casino and Hotel, Tunica Resorts, Mississippi, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 United States Rodrigo Romero TKO 3 (4), 0:38 Dec 18, 2009 United States Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Hinckley, Minnesota, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 Mexico Noe Lopez Jr. UD 4 Oct 23, 2009 United States Entertainment Center, Laredo, Texas, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 United States Jason Jones TKO 1 (4), 0:28 Aug 7, 2009 United States Star of the Desert Arena, Primm, Nevada, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 Mexico Alvaro Muro UD 4 May 1, 2009 United States Chumash Casino Resort, Santa Ynez, California, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 Ecuador John Wampash UD 4 Feb 14, 2009 United States BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, Florida, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States Antonio Reyes TKO 3 (4), 0:21 Jan 16, 2009 United States Million Dollar Elm Casino, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Premier Boxing Champions tale of the tape prior to the Kiko Martínez fight.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Doug Fischer (December 28, 2011). "Readers vote Gary Russell Jr. the Prospect of the Year for 2011". The Ring. Archived from the original on January 22, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  4. ^ Chris Mannix (December 19, 2011). "Prospect of the Year - Gary Russell Jr. -'s 2011 Boxing Awards". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
  5. ^ Dan Rafael (December 27, 2011). "2011 prospect of the year Gary Russell Jr". ESPN. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  6. ^ "U.S. boxer Russell collapses, out of Olympics - 2008 Olympics -". CNN. August 8, 2008.
  7. ^ "Russell Jr. eager to take the next step after another easy victory". July 24, 2010.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Amateur boxing titles
Torrence Daniels
U.S. Golden Gloves
bantamweight champion

Efraín Esquivias
Roberto Benitez
U.S. bantamweight champion
2005, 2006
Ronny Rios
World boxing titles
Preceded by
Jhonny González
WBC featherweight champion
March 28, 2015 – present
Michael Moorer
1988; discontinued until 2011
The Ring Prospect of the Year
Keith Thurman
Canelo Álvarez
ESPN Prospect of the Year
David Price